New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks at bat during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks at bat during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

As Jacoby Ellsbury mulls over his depleted role in New York, Aaron Hicks will be roaming center field for the Yankees.

The Yankees had been high on Hicks before trading for him just after the 2015 season because they liked Hicks' athletic ability and the pedigree that comes with the first-round draft pick. Hicks didn't get a ton of playing time in 2016, but finished strong, boosting the Yankees confidence he could contribute more in 2017.

Hicks, 28, entered camp last season with a chance to win the right field job, but eventually lost out to Aaron Judge despite a strong spring training. Hicks did enough in spring to garner a few starts per week in April and May and he eventually received a chance to start when Ellsbury went down with a concussion toward the end the end of May.

Hicks was spectacular in April and May, hitting .298 with a .425 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage in 154 plate appearances. Hicks roped six doubles and eight home runs in the two-month span while driving in 24 runs. Hicks slowed down a bit in June, though it was still a solid effort -- .821 OPS with nine doubles and two homers in 88 plate appearances.

Unfortunately, Hicks suffered an injury of his own, a strained right oblique which wiped out 39 games from his season. Upon Hicks' return, he was not as successful and then suffered an injury to his left oblique, costing him another 21 games.

Despite the late-season struggles and the injuries, Hicks received all of the postseason starts in center field over Ellsbury. Hicks was very productive through the ALDS, but like the many of the Yankees, he had a rough ALCS, going just 2-for-24 with eight strikeouts. Regardless, Hicks will be the starter in center field when spring training begins this season and for the first time he has a chance to run with a full-time gig from the outset of the season.

At the moment, Ellsbury, who will make over $21 million this season, plans to come to spring training and try to strip Hicks of his job. Of course, the issue is that Ellsbury has been a complete disappointment since his first season in pinstripes. In 2017, Ellsbury compiled a 97 OPS+ and missed 29 games due to the concussion. Ellsbury had a decent stretch when Hicks missed time in September, but it was not enough to convince the Yankees that he should play over Hicks in the postseason.

Ellsbury, 34, has a bigger issue than supplanting Hicks. In essence, Ellsbury has to also be better than Brett Gardner or benefit from an injury or two. Gardner can easily slide to center field if Hicks is not performing or hurt, and one of Judge or Giancarlo Stanton could get a chance in left field. As it stands, Ellsbury is the fifth outfielder on the depth chart, so reps will be few and far between if everything is going as the Yankees hope and expect.

Speaking of expectations, what can Hicks produce across a full season? It's a loaded question; Hicks has never eclipsed 400 plate appearances in a season. The difference in 2018 is that he is the Opening Day starter, and so long as he plays similarly to his opening stretch in 2017 before the oblique injury, Ellsbury won't overtake him.

Hicks may lose an occasional day to Ellsbury in an effort to get the latter reps. There is also a chance that Hicks will have to take a back seat to Gardner so that either Judge or Stanton can occasionally play in left field. Considering these circumstances, Hicks may be hard-pressed to get to 600 plate appearances even if he stays healthy.

Assume he does reach the mark. Hicks has the ability to hit .260 with an on-base percentage around .330 and a slugging percentage in the .430 to .450 range. Hicks has 20-homer power and he could steal 20-plus bases as well. Hicks demonstrated vastly improved patience at the plate, drawing walks at an extraordinary 14.1 percent rate in 2017, so there may be hope that he can build on that and potentially come closer to the .372 OBP he posted last season. In the field, Hicks provides above-average defense with a strong arm, and at his age there is no reason to believe his defensive efforts will fade.

Since Hicks has been a Yankee, he's shown extended spurts of exceptional play, but he has also shown to fall into ruts. It is possible with daily reps and less concern about his role, Hicks' play will resemble that of the beginning of last season. If Hicks can become more consistent, it could lead to a complete breakout season many have been waiting to come to fruition.

Trying to project Ellsbury's statistics is like taking a shot in the dark. Any substantial playing time for Ellsbury would likely require two injuries in the Yankees' outfield. Granted, Ellsbury handled the playing time situation well last season when he became Hicks' backup and then as an injury replacement. Ellsbury didn't complain and was prepared to take on pinch-hitting and base-running roles, so it will be incumbent on him to do the same when the time arises.

The changing of the guard in center field is coming to a close, however the door will only be completely shut when Ellsbury is wearing a different uniform.


Related: Player expectations for 2018 Yankees

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Chris Carelli

 (Peter Aiken)
(Peter Aiken)

When Troy Tulowitzki was released by the Blue Jays back in December, it appeared his MLB career was coming to a closeHe hadn't seen a diamond in the bigs since July, 28, 2017, as recovery from heel surgery wasn't the eight weeks the Blue Jays thought it would be.  

But then there was his open showcase at Long Beach State in December that changed that narrative.

Being a five-time All-Star normally piques the interest of MLB front offices, but Tulowitzki's workout at his alma mater opened some eyes to the point where offers were put on the table. And Long Beach State head coach Troy Buckley, who helped conduct the workout, knows exactly why.

Tags: Troy Tulowitzki, Scott Thompson
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The Yankees have been in pursuit of free agent 3B/SS Manny Machado, who is reportedly looking for a deal that will pay him roughly $300 million over 10 years. Here are the latest rumors... 


Jan. 18, 10:20 PM:

Machado met personally with at least one of the unidentified teams in recent days, reports SNYtv's Andy Martino. The All-Star will go to the highest bidder, period, says Martino. 

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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Mel Zitter is already thinking about summer nights at Yankee Stadium, watching two of his former pupils working in the bullpen, wearing pinstripes.

"That's going to be a trip," Zitter says, chuckling.

It should be a point of pride for Zitter, since he runs Youth Service, the Brooklyn sandlot club that new Yankee teammates Dellin Betances and Adam Ottavino both pitched for in the mid-2000s.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Anthony McCarron
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 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

John Harper, SNY.tv | TwitterMaybe Alex Cora was simply playing to the crowd at the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday night. But suffice it to say he didn't seem concerned that the Yankees had just added another weapon, Adam Ottavino, to the best bullpen in baseball. 

"Somebody might write this, I don't care," Cora said upon receiving his AL Manager of the Year award. "If you guys thought last year was special, wait 'til this year."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Boston Red Sox, John Harper
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)

The Yankees appear to be getting closer to trading Sonny Gray

The Reds are "making progress" on acquiring the right-hander, SNYtv's Andy Martino confirmed. The Giants and Padres are also talking to the Yankees about Gray. 

Fancred's Jon Heyman reports the teams are discussing prospects and possibly a draft choice as potential pieces in the deal. 

Tags: Sonny Gray
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Will Yankees get Nolan Arenado? 00:00:48
SNY baseball insider Andy Martino has sources telling him the New York Yankees may trade for Nolan Arenado instead of signing Manny Machado.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Earlier this week, after I published my nine millionth story of the offseason about the Yankees and Manny Machado, a major league source reached out with a suggestion: Don't sleep on the Yanks and Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Certainly, there's been smoke there already. 

Back in December, WFAN's Sweeny Murti wrote about how Arenado would fit the Yankees, and on Friday morning, MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal made passing reference to the possibility on the "Hot Stove" morning show. 

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Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Hanashiro)
Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Manny Machado's dad is adding some more intrigue to his son's free agency. 

We know Machado has at least been offered a seven or eight-year deal by the White Sox, but the elder Machado told Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital on Friday that the Phillies, Yankees and even Dodgers have all made offers to his son. 

And while the White Sox appear to be the strongest suitor, Manuel hinted his son could still sign elsewhere. 

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Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees will be adding another elite arm to an already dominant bullpen, giving the club a certain advantage over virtually the entire league.

New York and free-agent right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal on Thursday, SNY.tv's Andy Martino confirmed.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Sonny Gray, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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Apr 24, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) takes the ball from New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 24, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) takes the ball from New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The use of an "opener" in Major League Baseball is a polarizing topic. Fans either love it, or hate it. With more and more teams experimenting with the idea after Kevin Cash and the Tampa Bay Rays saw successful results, it's reasonable to think the New York Yankees could be the next club to start a relief pitcher on the mound.

For one, they've already done it. Right-handed reliever Jonathan Holder started, coincidentally, against the Rays on Sept. 24. He pitched one inning before handing the baton to Stephen Tarpley, Sonny Gray, Chad Green, David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and, finally, Zach Britton to cap the game. Given, the Rays were nine games behind the Yankees with no shot of overtaking New York for the wild card spot. So the stakes to use an "opener" were low. But the point is, eight relievers and a 4-1 win later, it worked. 

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Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) hits a single in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) hits a single in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The exact terms of the Chicago White Sox offer to Manny Machado are not known -- you might have noticed some drama about that topic Wednesday -- but some new details of their discussions could offer a roadmap to the Yankees, if they want to jump back into the Machado sweepstakes.

The sides have at least discussed a contract structure that would allow Chicago to exercise an option after year three that would trigger team control for an eighth or ninth year, according to major league sources. This probably accounts for some of the confusion over whether Machado has a seven or eight year offer on the table. He has likely been offered a contract that could be either.

In that structure, Machado would get to opt out after 2021 if the team doesn't opt in. The Yankees and Zach Britton recently agreed to that structure, which Britton's agent Scott Boras called a "swellopt," in an interview with Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic...

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)

While the Yankees are making trades that may be surprising fans this offseason, there's still an expected deal remaining.

The Yankees are getting closer to trading Sonny Gray, according to a report from Fancred's Jon Heyman. In addition to Gray, teams are also asking about Tommy Kahnle and Jonathan Holder

Per Heyman, things were "ramping up" in talks centering around Gray since CC Sabathia was given clearance to pitch. Heyman also recently reported at least six teams are interested in the right-hander, which includes the Reds, Padres, Brewers, A's, Mariners and Braves.

Tags: Sonny Gray
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Yankees sign with Adam Ottavino 00:00:39
SNY baseball insider Andy Martino likes the Yankees signing of Adam Ottavino, here's how he thinks it will impact their AL East chances.

The Yankees are closing in on a three-year deal with free agent reliever Adam Ottavino, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.

The deal will be worth $27 million over three years. 

Ottavino is coming off a huge season where he had a 2.43 ERA (2.74 FIP) and 112 strikeouts in 77.2 innings, or a 13 K/9 ratio and did it while pitching his home games hitter-friendly Coors Field with the Rockies. His 0.99 WHIP in 2018 was much improved from a 1.63 WHIP with a 5.06 ERA in 2017...

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New York Yankees designated hitter fielder Clint Frazier doubles during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees designated hitter fielder Clint Frazier doubles during the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier tweeted he has been cleared for spring training and hopes to win a spot on the major-league roster after he missed most of the 2018 season due to concussion-like symptoms.

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Why aren't Yankees spending? 00:00:33
Sweeny Murti goes in depth as to why he believes the Yankees are being cautious about spending money on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

Yankees fans have been a bit confused this offseason, as GM Brian Cashman has been relatively quiet with the moves he has made. Instead of spending on players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, he has instead signed names like Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu to fill in the gaps. 

Normally, New York is the team that goes after the big shots on the market, but why hasn't that been the case this offseason?

Sweeny Murti explains how the Yankees' recent success these past two seasons has kept Cashman's checkbook in his pocket instead of hashing out the big deals...

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Sep 15, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies infielder DJ LeMahieu (9) looks to throw the ball during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)
Sep 15, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies infielder DJ LeMahieu (9) looks to throw the ball during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)

Newest Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu was introduced on Wednesday during a conference call with the press. The three-time Gold Glove Award winner agreed to a two-year deal with the Yankees on Friday. Here's what we learned about the All-Star's upcoming role in the Bronx.


All signs point to LeMahieu serving as a super-utility man

The possibility of LeMahieu playing in multiple positions for the Yankees next season is high. New York told the infield to "bring a lot of gloves" to Spring Training, according to The Athletic's Lindsey Adler. Although LeMahieu has only patrolled second base since 2015, he said he's comfortable playing shortstop, which will aid the Yankees while Didi Gregorius recovers from surgery. 

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Mar 11, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium before the game between the New York City and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 11, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium before the game between the New York City and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Yankees made a trade with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, acquiring LHP Ronald Roman and cash considerations in exchange for minor-league OF Tim Locastro, per MLB Network's Mark Feinsand.

New York designated Locastro for assignment earlier this week to make room for DJ LeMahieu, and instead of letting him walk, they were able to get a return. Roman is a 17-year-old Dominican Republic product the D-Backs acquired as an international signee last year.

Roman has yet to play a professional game, while Locastro has been playing in the minors since 2013 when he was drafted by the Blue Jays. In Triple-A last season he owned a .279 average with four homers and 25 RBI. 

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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | ArchivesManny Machado was supposed to help the Yankees surpass the Red Sox. He's apparently not coming (and neither is Bryce Harper), so the Yanks should double down on their strongest facet -- the bullpen.

If the Yankees want to measure up to the Red Sox, they must possess an advantage somewhere on the roster that unequivocally distances the World Series champs. Adding one more "elite" reliever, like Adam Ottavino, should make it next to impossible for the Red Sox to catch the Yankees in that department even if Boston re-signs Craig Kimbrel. Boston arguably has a slight edge in the rotation and the offenses are quite similar in strength, but the overall scale could tip toward New York if the Yanks add to an already dominant bullpen.

Much has been made about the Yankees "coming up short" in the offseason if they're unable to secure Machado or Harper. Expectations were high that one of the two 26-year-old stars would become part of the Yankees after the team reset their luxury tax rate. Adding Machado or Harper would have clearly pushed the Yanks offense ahead of Boston's.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
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Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)
Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)

It's not just his Gold Glove the Yankees like about DJ LeMahieu.

The Yankees' internal data suggested LeMahieu was undervalued offensively, according to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. His elite defense and superior makeup are bonuses for New York, which signed the former Colorado Rockie to a two-year, $24 million contract.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar
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Mar 11, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium before the game between the New York City and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 11, 2018; New York, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium before the game between the New York City and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Former New York Yankees closer and Texas Rangers Hall of Fame pitcher John Wetteland was arrested on Monday on a child sex abuse charge in Texas. The Dallas Morning News was the first to report the arrest.

Wetteland, 52, is accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, according to Denton County jail records. He posted a $25,000 bond and was released from custody on Monday, the same day as his arrest. 

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New York Yankees former player Mel Stottlemyre is introduced during the 66th annual Old Timers Day game at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)
New York Yankees former player Mel Stottlemyre is introduced during the 66th annual Old Timers Day game at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mel Stottlemyre always seemed to be at peace with the fact that he came along at the wrong time in Yankee history, an All-Star pitcher on many bad teams during one of the longest championship droughts the franchise has ever known.

"I was always too blessed to think of it that way," Stottlemyre told me once.

Even after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the blood cancer that he succumbed to on Monday at age 77, Stottlemyre had the relentlessly positive outlook of a man who was grateful for his lot in life, as a major league player and then coach with five world championship rings...

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Harper, McCarron share HOF votes 00:00:54
SNY's John Harper and Anthony McCarron debate their votes on whether Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be enshrined in Cooperstown.

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Even with four newly elected Hall of Famers off the ballot, and my anti-PED stance firmly in place regarding Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, I still voted for 10 players this year, the sixth straight time I've used the maximum number of spots allowed. 

So I guess I'm officially a Big Hall guy now, after years of thinking Small Hall was the way to go. And I'm OK with that. 

Not that I'm good with Harold Baines being elected by a 16-person committee in December, but I do believe that for years baseball writers as a whole tended to take too much pride in making the Hall of Fame more exclusive than those in other sports, at the expense of rewarding excellence. 

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New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. (Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. (Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees LHP CC Sabathia was just having a catch with teammate Dellin Betances when he began to feel shortness of breath. He knew something was up.

"For me," Sabathia told YES Network's Ryan Ruocco, "normally, I can run, swim, do whatever, elliptical for however long. My cardio's normally really good. So for me to have shortness of breath playing catch, I knew something was up."

The 38-year-old Sabathia would undergo an angioplasty to clear a blocked artery in December, a heart procedure he is expected to recover fully from.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances
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Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning.  (AP)
Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning. (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Let's start the discussion of my 2019 ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame with an easy one: Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in history, gets my vote en route to enshrinement. 
 
Any objections? No? 
 
That won't last long. 

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Mel Stottlemyre passes away 00:00:58
SNY's John Harper and Anthony McCarron reflect on the life and legacy of Mel Stottlemyre.

Former Yankees and Mets pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre died at age of 77 at his home in Seattle on Sunday night, as first reported by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News

Stottlemyre had endured a long battle with bone marrow cancer. 

He won a World Series as Mets pitching coach in 1986 and won four World Series as pitching coach for the Yankees from thier title run between 1996-2000. 

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Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter

For months, it's been clear through sources that while the Yankees like Manny Machado as a player, they don't plan on outbidding aggressive teams like the Phillies and White Sox. 

Now, word comes from a person with direct knowledge of Machado's thinking that he plans to choose the team that makes the highest offer.

In most cases, this would be about as stunning as "Source: Sun will set this evening."

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Sep 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is congratulated after hitting a two run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is congratulated after hitting a two run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With the addition of DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees now have two of the Top 10 second basemen in baseball -- at least according to MLB Network's Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now! show.

Gleyber Torres (No. 8) and LeMahieu (No. 10) made the list.

The full list, in order...

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Oct 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after being relieved in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Oct 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after being relieved in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

With the deadline for teams to exchange numbers with players who are arbitration-eligible passed on Friday, the Yankees had nine players to strike deals with. And all but one settled.

Yankees RHP Luis Severino will enter arbitration as both sides couldn't come to terms. Severino, who made $604,975 last season, is projected to make $5.1 million in arbitration. But Severino didn't help himself with a rough second half of his 2018 season.

This will be Severino's first year in arbitration, so the process will be new to him. It also may be new to some Yankees fans depending on if you followed Dellin Betances' rough hearing back in 2017. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Luis Severino
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Sep 15, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies infielder DJ LeMahieu (9) looks to throw the ball during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)
Sep 15, 2018; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies infielder DJ LeMahieu (9) looks to throw the ball during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees came to an agreement with a Gold Glove infielder Friday afternoon, but it wasn't Manny Machado.

The Yankees appear to have strayed even further away from Machado, agreeing to a two-year, $24 million contract with DJ LeMahieu according to reports and confirmed by SNYtv's Andy Martino.

LeMahieu, 30, is contact hitter who owns a career .298 avereage with a .350 on-base percentage and .406 slugging percentage. LeMahieu does possess home/road splits that favor hitter friendly Coors Field, but his approach at the plate could still translate well in New York.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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Oct 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after being relieved in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Oct 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after being relieved in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Friday is the deadline for teams to exchange numbers with players who are arbitration-eligible. If a deal is not agreed upon they must schedule a hearing next month in front of a panel of arbitrators to determine that player's salary for the 2019 season. 

Teams that do not reach deals could still negotiate up until the hearing date on a one-year contract or multi-year extension. 

Tags: Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius
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Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)
Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)

The Yankees are close to signing another infielder: D.J. LeMahieu. 

SNY's Andy Martino has confirmed that LeMahieu has agreed to a two-year deal with the Yankees, pending physical. 

The deal for the infielder likely pulls the Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, but Martino reports that is not a certainty, yet. 

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees announced they re-signed LHP Zach Britton to a three-year, $39 million deal with a team option that also includes an opt-out clause.

New York must exercise or decline its fourth-year option for the 2022 season after the second season of Britton's contract. If the Yankees decline Britton's fourth-year team option, then Britton has the ability to opt out and become a free agent prior to the 2021 season.

Britton will earn $13 million in each of the first three years of his contract. The fourth-year team option is worth $14 million.

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Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | It's come to this: The final lingering hope for Yankee fans who want free agent Manny Machado is that Brian Cashman will pull one of his stealth strikes, swoop in with a late offer and shock us all with news out of nowhere.

At this point, that's probably the only way Machado becomes a Yankee.

The Yanks haven't engaged Machado's camp much in the new year, according to multiple major league sources. Plus, they haven't made an offer yet. Plus, they signed another guy and told him that he was their shortstop. Plus, as we reported way back in October, they've been lukewarm in Machado's free agency all along...

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Andy Martino
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Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Hanashiro)
Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

The Yankees, clearly in need of outside help in order to add more stars to their payroll, can thank one fan for helping them raise (so far) $87 toward a $300 million goal to help them sign free agent Manny Machado

Joshua Anderson started the GoFundMe page on Jan. 9 with the hope that the Yanks -- who are not the favorites to snag Machado -- will get him. 

"Help Hal Steinbrenner sign Manny Machado," the page reads up top, followed by this blurb...

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Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title.

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees' pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out…

Is Machado off the board?

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Aug 28, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) throws a runner out at first base to end the top of the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 28, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) throws a runner out at first base to end the top of the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

All along, attached speculation to the Yankees potential signing of Manny Machado has come with Miguel Andujar enduring the largest impact of the move - a trade out of New York.

However, there is a distinct chance that the Yankees hold onto Andujar - at least in the short term - should they sign Machado and consequently unavoidable fallout to the rest of the roster. The Yankees will not trade Andujar for just anyone. The starting pitchers worth Andujar's talent might not necessarily be available in trade and certain clubs may not be willing to deal with New York.

Keeping Andujar presents some issues (not all necessarily bad) for the Yankees.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

As everyone awaits if Manny Machado will sign with the Yankees, or elsewhere, perhaps the Bombers are no longer the big-spending behemoth they once were. 

According to the final MLB spending figures obtained by The Associated Press for 2018, the Yankees had the sixth-highest payroll in the leauge at $182.7 million.

It marked a significant decrease of more than $25 million from the 2017 season and was their smallest payroll figure since 2003. 

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Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The Yankees received some good news about LHP CC Sabathia.

Sabathia, who underwent a heart procedure last month, passed a follow-up stress test on Tuesday. Now, the veteran is allowed to work out, which includes baseball activities. 

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said during a conference call last week that he has been waiting to deal RHP Sonny Gray until he was sure Sabathia would be healthy enough to play next season. With Sabathia just getting back on the grind, Cashman may not be too hasty in sparking a trade for Gray, but it wouldn't be a surprise to hear talks have ramped up again.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, Scott Thompson
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton throws the ball during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 2018 ALDS at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton throws the ball during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 2018 ALDS at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The theme of this Yankees' offseason is finding ways to close the gap on the Red Sox, and there's no denying the rivals to the north established a clear level of superiority last season.

Yet it's plausible to make the case that, at least for the moment, the Yankees have opened an important gap of their own over the Sox. Right now, in fact, they own a Patriots vs. Jets-like advantage in the bullpen, if I can extend the New York-Boston angle to make a point.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Boston Red Sox, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Manny Machado in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Manny Machado in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said Troy Tulowitzki is the starting shortstop but it would also not take them out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes. 

Tulowitzki said he joined the Yankees because he could continue to play shortstop, so what would happen if Machado, who prefers shortstop over third base, signs with the Bombers?

Well, it would be "awesome," according to Tulowitzki. 

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Jul 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws the ball around prior to an MLB game against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)
Jul 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws the ball around prior to an MLB game against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)

Troy Tulowitzki garnered interest from 16 teams following a workout in front of scouts in December, but the veteran shortstop ultimately chose the Yankees. 

Tulowitzki said it was simple: He wanted to play shortstop and play for a contender. 

The 34-year-old explained his reasoning during a conference call on Monday and said the Yankees offered him both of those opportunities, despite the team's pursuit of free-agent Manny Machado and expection for Didi Gregorius to return the second half of the season from Tommy John surgery. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius
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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees should be pursuing the likes of Manny Machado, but the hole in the bullpen was much larger than the need for a $30 million per season position player.

As such, the Yankees sought out a familiar face in left-handed reliever Zach Britton to seal the gap, laying out a guaranteed $39 million for three years. The agreement has a fourth year option for $14 million that the Yanks can exercise after year two of the deal. If the Yankees decide not to grant the option, Britton has the ability to opt out of the deal. If neither happens, Britton sticks around for the third year.

Either way, the Yankees, who are being criticized by some for their lack of spending, are sinking significant cash into a set-up reliever and there's a reason for that.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Zach Britton back to the Bronx 00:02:00
The Yankees have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $39 million guaranteed to bring reliever Zach Britton back to the Bronx

Zach Britton will don pinstripes once again.

The lefthander has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $39 million guaranteed; the contract includes an opt out and club option for a fourth season.

A source told SNY's Andy Martino earlier Saturday night that Britton was close to a deal with the Bombers.

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Jul 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws the ball around prior to an MLB game against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)
Jul 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) throws the ball around prior to an MLB game against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Sousa)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out...

Tags: CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, Sonny Gray, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman declared back at the GM Meetings that he was working hard to ship beleaguered RHP Sonny Gray out of the Bronx via trade before Spring Training begins. 

Well, things might have changed on that front. 

Last month, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal broke the news that Yankees veteran LHP CC Sabathia needed a heart procedure known as an angioplasty to fix a blocked artery. The surgery went as expected, and Sabathia was said to be ready by the time Spring Training came around. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | : Troy Tulowitzki signed with the Yankees to be the starting shortstop until Didi Gregorius returns, meaning that Manny Machado almost certainly will not be able to play his favorite position in New York.

According to people with direct knowledge of negotiations, Tulowitzki was only talking with teams that were willing to offer him a starting job. That list included the Cubs and Pirates, as SNY reported earlier on Friday.

If the Yankees do sign Machado, it would only be to play third base, where he is an elite defender. But Machado has repeatedly expressed a preference to play short. He will have to compromise if he wants to be a Yankee.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Andy Martino
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Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki throws out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts during the first inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki throws out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts during the first inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter

The Yankees remain silent about their pursuit of Manny Machado, and the baseball world is left to guess where the star free agent will ultimately sign. But, as we've previously reported, their interest in the player appears lukewarm. They might land him, but they don't exactly seem thrilled about the possibility.

And now, new information about Troy Tulowitzki's decision to sign with the Yanks makes you wonder again if Machado will indeed choose another team.

Consider this:

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, Andy Martino
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Tulowitzki signing could pay off 00:00:33
SNY baseball insider Sweeny Murti believes Troy Tulowitzki's defense could help the Yankees infield and not deter a Manny Machado deal

The Yankees officially announced the signing of free-agent SS Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year deal on Friday.

As the Bronx Bombers continue to wait on the decision of free agent Manny Machado, Tulowitzki will join the Yankees on a league minimum contract -- $555,000 -- after he was released by the Blue Jays, who will pay the remaining $20 million owed to him this year, earlier this offseason. 

The Yankees will likely insert Tulowitzki in at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery. 

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New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Yankees high on this reliever 00:00:33
SNY baseball insider Andy Martino believes the New York Yankees will target this reliever now that David Robertson signed with Philadelphia

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The market for relievers is beginning to move, and the Yankees appear poised to make a move.

Earlier on Thursday, agents began to say that they were getting close to accepting deals, even if the offers were for shorter terms than expected...

Tags: David Robertson, Andy Martino
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